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3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  607 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Perhaps Vidal's most outrageous novel, this is an indescribable fantasy purportedly set in the city of Duluth (which, however, is near the Mexican border) & involving a tv show also named "Duluth" (a parody of "Dallas"), a spaceship that has landed nearby, the antics of a policewoman, Darlene Ecks, & much else.
"A wild spoof of absolutely everything: social pretens
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published May 12th 1983)
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MJ Nicholls
Apr 06, 2012 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
Another of Gore’s raucous entertainments. This anarchic semi-satirical, semi-surreal novel flirts with the metafictional (two decades after its heyday) and flings about a dozen different plots at the reader that all intersect in sometimes random and sometimes logical ways. I gave up looking for the clever connective tissue between the elements fifty pages in, possibly because there isn’t any. Summarising the novel would also be a waste of my time, since the storylines all take various absurdist ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-adult
First 10 pages: wow! So inventive and avant garde!

Next 30 pages: hm, this isn't really all that funny and is kind of just as trashy as the stuff it's supposed to be spoofing.

Rest of book: WTF, Gore Vidal? We're supposed to think it's funny that a female cop systematically rapes immigrant Mexicans and ultra-stereotyped black men (chanting "give me your okra and prunes!")? And then the immigrants gang-rape her as a revenge, but she doesn't really mind because she's a good sport -- until they try t
Sep 01, 2012 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, un-put-down-able
This is the most entertaining book that I have read for years.

*Who will be the new mayor of Duluth?
*What's inside the alien space-ship that has landed in the city?
*Who is Big John?
*And, will Chloris Craig, the author who cannot read or write, ever discover who killed Betty Grable?
*And whose baby is Darlene Eck carrying?
*Can the Marchioness of Skye get the secret plans, which she has stolen, to Napoleon in Moscow?

These and many other important questions can only be answered by reading Gore Vidal'
Feb 28, 2016 David rated it liked it
Shelves: big-white-square
Po-mo Ronald Firbank! Very funny at times.

"Rosemary has been unusually kind since the hallucination in the Bistro Garden. Edna's lines are now much longer that 'you mean dot dot question mark.' Rosemary has made a lot of interesting variations like 'For Heaven's sake, Silas, you can't mean that dot dot question mark.'"

"Beryl quickly darts to the other side of the carriage, reloading her matchlock as she does, pushing the bullets in with a long stick and arranging the white powder in the pan. Ros
Ben Vogel
Jan 30, 2010 Ben Vogel rated it did not like it
Hated this more than I've hated anything I've ever read. Ick.
John Uzzi
Sep 06, 2010 John Uzzi rated it it was ok
This wasn't up to my expectation.
anita Lauricella
Sep 11, 2010 anita Lauricella rated it did not like it
the reveiw was probalby accurate 30 years ago, not now
Rick Edwards
Jul 24, 2011 Rick Edwards rated it it was ok
soap opera -- actors shifting between dramas, dying on one, still living on another -- multiple presidents, one old one who sounds like Reagan -- Duluth same but different, corruption doesn't fit city I know, but it might be a reasonable modern projection of the Jay Gould types who put the place on the map. Racial-ethnic stereotypes. Illegal aliens as well as aliens from outer space. Media monopolies. Competing pulp novelists. Politics of manipulating public opinion. Had to overcome initial repu ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Tracey rated it did not like it
I started reading this book. I bought it at a used book sale because of the title Duluth, which is the name of the city in northern Minnesota where my grandfather grew up. It became apparent right away that this book had nothing to do with the Duluth I know. It is a science fiction book and had so many weird things going on I couldn't pursue reading it. (I think it is set in the future and all the geography of our country has been mixed up/around. It probably comes out later that there have been ...more
Tea Coopz
Nov 22, 2011 Tea Coopz rated it it was ok
How does this have a 3.3? You people disgust me.

But seriously, very few people could've written a book with as weak a premise and garner a two-star rating. I wonder whether this book is a commercial or critical success. If it was (or is) either, I guess it says one thing about Gore Vidal: no matter what he puts out there, the public will force it down.

Some people want to create gods out of authors.
Robert Hyers
Dec 28, 2007 Robert Hyers rated it did not like it
While Vidal is one of my favorite writers of both fiction and creative non-fiction, this just didn't do it for me. I don't think I made it past the first 50 pages. Once 2 of the characters (I can't even remember their names) drove themselves into another novel, I was done.
Robert Brewer
Dec 06, 2013 Robert Brewer rated it did not like it
The narrative voice for this book struck me as someone trying to be cooler than he/she really is, someone trying too hard. Maybe that's the point? But with all the crazy happening in the novel, it's just a boring read.
Jul 24, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This book is completely twisted and fabulous. Just when you think it can't get any stranger it does!!
May 20, 2017 Danilo rated it really liked it
So this book exists, and its incredible. Unapologetic, funny, charming, weird, unique and a lot more. Duluth is the kind of novel that attacks without fear.
This book is not for the easily offended, better yet maybe it is. With its incredible wit and moral themes Duluth its a hidden classic. The kind of book that 10 people will be offended by it, and only 1 will have read it;
I know im going to hell and this book is another reason for it.
Alexander Kosoris
Where to begin with this one? It’s not even that I have a hard time expressing my opinion of Duluth – it’s really good – but I find it difficult to explain why I found Vidal’s surrealist satire as enjoyable as I did. And, even though I walked away with such respect for the story and its author, I understand that not everyone has the same appreciation of such off-the-wall absurdities as I seem to, that making it all the way through Duluth will be a huge chore for many, but I highly recommend at l ...more
Jonathan Fretheim
Aug 27, 2012 Jonathan Fretheim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Race! Corruption! Rape!

This is kind of a satire/critique/pre-Idiocracy story made very lively by aspects of "fiction science" that apply to the parallel worlds where Vidal's characters reside. There's Duluth, the Minnesota city that happens to border Mexico and is home to many illegal aliens as well as society's elite; and there's "Duluth," the TV show.

Important to note is Vidal's Rosemary Klein Kantor character who is a popular novelist who uses not only the recently deceased from Duluth as sta
Eric Kalenze
A funny, incisive, and in some ways down-right prophetic satire. How have I not read Gore Vidal until now? Oh yeah, it's another title suggested by Schmidt's 'The Novel: A Biography'. Will be adding more Vidal to the list after this one.
M. Milner
Jun 03, 2013 M. Milner rated it really liked it
A wild, reckless read, Gore Vidal's Duluth is a complete takedown of American pop culture, c. 1980. In just over 200 pages, Vidal spoofs everything from Ronald Reagan to conspiracy theories to romantic fiction to pulpy sci-fi. His novel is a jumpy ride through genres, styles and form, often moving between stories within stories, often with a sense of how reckless the plot can get.

Basically, this is a novel about a mayoral election in Duluth, a city just south the Canadian border. It's also a sto
Tim Jollymore
Mar 06, 2016 Tim Jollymore rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I was actually ordering JULIAN a highly recommended novel about the 4th Century Emperor. I'd already bought LIVE FROM GOLGATHA which I plan to read later. DULUTH? Well, I attended university there and have written about the town. Vidal had not, and did not.

Well, he did not write about the Duluth I knew, but by the same token, perhaps he did. After all the residents of his DULUTH - and of the soap opera of the same name which most Duluthian's watch and some of whom have died star in - are the typ
Riley Haas
Dec 14, 2016 Riley Haas rated it liked it
I get what he's doing, I really do. I'm interested now to read Myra Breckinridge as apparently that's his first and supposedly better effort in this style. The two biggest things about this that make it less successful than it should be are, for me, that it isn't anywhere near as funny as it should be and that I could have written something like this. I am not trying to brag, far from it. I am just alarmed that something remotely within the grasp of an amateur like me could get so much praise. V ...more
May 12, 2013 Louise rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Only Gore Vidal would conceive a plot about characters being like movie stars and appearing in films, TV shows and other novels when they are off duty in the novel you are reading.

The idea was great, but its execution was flippant and there is gratuitous everything. I stayed with it only to see how he would tie it all up. Had the book been longer, I wouldn't have finished it.

I'm still not sure that I get the significance of Duluth being 9 miles from the Mexican border with a view of Lake Erie, a
Jul 27, 2011 Moureco rated it really liked it
Gore Vidal tem uma imaginação absolutamente delirante. Citando Italo Calvino: 'Vidal pertence àquele grupo de escritores do nosso tempo que, precisamente porque tiveram sempre os olhos abertos às desordens e distorções do nosso tempo, escolheram a ironia, o humor e a comédia - ou seja, todos os instrumentos literários pertencentes ao universo do riso - como forma de ajustar contas.'

Em português, existe uma edição da Difel, com o mesmo título do original e já muito difícil de encontrar.
Feb 12, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gore-vidal
Duluth is the easily the most bizarre book I've ever read. I'll leave it at that. I sometimes had to reread certain paragraphs to make sure I actually read and understood it correctly. Down is up and up is down in Duluth. Nothing is a surprise to the population of the city that Gore Vidal created, no matter how unearthly or improbable it is. Fascinating story that everyone should try just to get into the freaky crazy brilliant mind of Mr. Vidal.
Ed Rogers
Jan 12, 2015 Ed Rogers rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I don't know how I've missed this. Vidal is a great writer with exception of 'myra', 'creation',and 'messiah' I thought I'd read them (Burr and Washington DC being particular favorites). then I stumbled over this at the library. It is witty and funny...even hilarious here and there. I'm bummed I deprived myself so long. you'll not regret reading this one.
Brian Fagan
Feb 08, 2010 Brian Fagan rated it it was amazing
Next to Myra Breckenridge, Gore Vidal's best "hyper-novel." The first time I read it, it was just an entertaining novel with wall to wall craziness. The second time I read it, i got the subtext. There is a lot going on in this book. Check it out.
Oct 07, 2014 Jase rated it really liked it
This is one crazy ride. When this came out, they compared it to the TV show Dallas. Sometimes it was tough figuring out the difference between the show and the story. I love the character of Darlene and the barrios.
Luis Cardenas
Mar 27, 2014 Luis Cardenas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para mi es una de las mejores Novelas de Gore Vidal, tiene todos los elementos de su prosa y de su mundo: La sociedad decadente americana, los trust economicos, lo dantesco y lo fantastico como mezclar ciempiés espaciales con politica economica. En fin. Su mundo me encanta.
Aug 05, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
A ridiculously absurd, yet stunningly meticulous and well-thought out, satire of everything American in the early 1980s, from corruption and racism in law enforcement, to flagrant plagiarism in writing across all mediums. Duluth is the single best book I have ever read.
Marco Cerbo
Rocambolesca vita di una città americana immaginaria, con agenti corrotti, lotte razziali, arrampicatori sociali e persino alieni. Da leggere in fretta per essere coinvolti e non perdersi nella trama.
Kevin Cole
Apr 30, 2014 Kevin Cole rated it it was amazing
Still not as good as "Myra Breckinridge," but close. Among Vidal's fantasy satires, this is the most epic and insane. Every time you think it can't wilder and funnier, it does. I read it in a few days.
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Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the senator Thomas Gore, and he later became a relation (through marriage) to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Vidal ran for political office twi
More about Gore Vidal...

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